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Thursday, April 7, 2005 01:36 am

letters 4-7-05

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We welcome letters, but please include your full name, address and a daytime telephone number. We edit all letters for libel, length and clarity.

Send letters to: Letters, Illinois Times. P.O. Box 5256. Springfield, Illinois 62705. Fax: (217) 753-3958. E-mail:


Great story! Phonies and frauds are an epidemic. Your piece was terrific [Dusty Rhodes, “Precious medals,” March 31]. You might want to browse our Web site, We list thousands who have been reported — but never prosecuted! It’s an overwhelming task to expose these guys. They are changing the history of the Vietnam conflict! They get reported here every day, but no one will charge them. We have some that seem Teflon-coated.

Chuck and Mary Schantag
Skidmore, Mo.


It was with great sadness that we watched our great Illini team fall to North Carolina Monday night. But let’s keep things in perspective. Many great coaches, including Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, and even Roy Williams, didn’t win the big game on their first attempt.

Bruce Weber and the entire team are to be commended on the great season they allowed all of us to enjoy. They won an amazing 37 games. They were in every single game until the final horn. We can all take great pride in the 100th season of Illini basketball. This team will always be viewed as the “Never Dyin’ and Always Tryin’ Illini” team. I believe we will remember guys named Deron, Dee, and Luther a long, long time. Illinois basketball’s future looks bright for the next 100 years. We will be back!

Chris Babb


I would like to thank the Fighting Illini basketball team for one of the best, most fun rides I’ve ever taken.

My brother, currently stationed in Iraq, grew up in Illinois. And even though his current residence is in North Carolina, he’s an Illinois fan, through and through. I’ve been focused on March Madness this year because of my brother Craig’s focus on it.

The Fighting Illini’s 2005 journey has been a tie that’s bound my brother and me even more closely together. Watching this team play has helped cut through the distance between us and has helped me focus on something fun and positive — something other than how in harm’s way my brother is.

My glass is not just half-full, Illini — it’s overflowing. I’ve had one of the best times of my life, following your “heart and soul, together as a team” games with my brother all the way to the championship.

Thank you for the wonderful journey it has been (and will continue to be). Your season this year is one of the most treasured memories of my life.

Michelle Sullivan


Your recent headline “Heaven or hellhole?” [Geri L. Dreiling, March 17] posed an interesting — and eye-catching — question. But when it comes to the legal climate in Illinois, there is no question that our state is far from heavenly and shows no sign of repenting or changing its ways.

The recent survey on legal fairness confirmed the state’s continuing plunge through the national rankings. The people whose companies build plants and create jobs told the survey that Illinois is not a very good place in which to do business because the legal deck is badly stacked against them, something they will take into account in making future business decisions.

That’s the type of warning Illinois legislators should take seriously. We need companies to do business here and create jobs, not look for the exit sign because they don’t think that the courts will give them a fair shake.

Dennis Herrington


It is awful that military recruiters use misleading tactics to recruit students, especially at a time when so many of our troops are in harm’s way in Iraq. The promise of $70,000 for college is just factually wrong. If you study the GI Bill, you will learn that very few veterans qualify for the amounts that recruiters and advertisements quote.

Enlisting when you are told the truth and have the facts you need to make an informed decision is one thing, but enlisting when you are given misleading or false information is just plain wrong.

Mike Berns


Readers of the local daily may recall a recent story announcing a State Journal-Register gift of $1 million to the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. The article was modestly placed on the bottom half of the front page. I responded to the story with a letter to the editor that they chose not to print. I know because they told me so. I’d appreciate your sharing my thoughts with the reading public. Maybe they can figure out why my letter wasn’t fit to print [in the daily newspaper].

“Dear SJ-R editor:

“Please balance your recent front-page boasting about donating a million dollars to the Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation by telling the people how many millions of dollars in wages you denied minority citizens of Springfield by refusing to hire them for most of the past 140 years, as Lincoln said ‘the Journal paper was always my friend.’ While you’re at it, why not boast about what percent of your full-time workforce is represented by racial minorities today, and what job titles they hold.

“In 1881, your editor said, ‘We want the Register to be the people’s paper.’ From examining your record, including the inflammatory role your paper played in the great Springfield Race Riot, one must conclude he meant ‘the white people’s paper.’ As they say on the Fox So-Called News Network, let’s be ‘fair and balanced’ in invoking Mr. Lincoln’s name. We surely don’t want the Great Emancipator’s hometown image built on fake news or withheld news, do we?

“Can you imagine a day when black citizens can say, ‘The Journal-Register is my friend’? That’s kind of a stretch for me, but a good place to start would be in your hiring and promotion policies and practices. You do a good job investigating the employment records of the police and fire departments and the school district, but you never seem interested in investigating yourself. So let’s do the right thing and then ease back and watch those tourist dollars roll in.”

Mike Townsend


On Tuesday, April 12, the family and friends of Pleasant Hill Village will join tens of thousands of people around the state for a “Day of Reflection” to raise the consciousness of our state leaders. On this day, 300 individuals from Pleasant Hill Village will take a moment to pray that our state-government leaders will have the wisdom and compassion to increase funding for older-adult service providers. The event has been organized by Life Services Network.

Sixty-three percent of Illinois nursing-home residents depend on Medicaid. The perpetual underfunding of this program has caused more than 50 nursing homes to declare bankruptcy because they were unable to keep up with costs.

Illinois is the ninth-wealthiest state, with 4.5 percent of the nation’s Medicaid population; however, it ranks 47th in the nation for Medicaid funding — 27 percent below the national average. Increasing Medicaid funding is not a simple request, but it is imperative that we provide for the special care needed for the poorest, most frail residents of our state.

Monica J. Lederbrand
Administrator, Pleasant Hill Village


Too often, people spend lots of time thinking about which family member will get their good set of china or their Buick after they pass away. Because most of us don’t want to recognize our own mortality or, even worse, the chance that we might be in a coma for years on end, it is understandable that we often avoid unpleasant conversations about our health needs. Terri Schiavo didn’t take the time to plan for this tragedy . . . you still can. A short consultation with your attorney, some discussion of options with your family, and the completion of a few forms can solidify those medical procedures you would want to have done.

Kent Gray
Attorney at law


Brad Mills is a former officer of Knights of Columbus Council 4175, but he is still a member of the group. His membership status was reported incorrectly in a story last week [Todd Spivak, “Class acts,” March 31].

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